Feeds

Microsoft to license Windows ‘protocols’ to rivals

No help to us - Samba

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft yesterday agreed to release details of internal Windows protocols to competitors under license, as part of last year's anti-trust settlement.

These protocols will be licensed "for the sole purpose of creating server software to interoperate or communicate with Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP and successor desktop operating systems", according to a statement by Microsoft.

"With access to Microsoft Communication Protocols, licensees have new ways to achieve interoperability between their servers and covered Windows desktops," it added.

Microsoft has promised to publish "virtually all information about the [protocol licensing] program, including sample license documents and brief summaries of each of the protocols, on a publicly accessible Web site that anyone can view". It said it hopes to reduce the initial cost of licensing its proprietary protocols, though the company makes no firm commitment on this point.

However Microsoft's critics argue the anti-trust settlement - which the protocol licensing program form a small part of - is an ineffectual remedy to Redmond's monopolistic behaviour.

Ken Wasch, head of the Software & Information Industry Association, told Reuters that even though he welcomed signs that the anti-trust agreement was being enforced it "will do little to restore the competitive damage that Microsoft's anti-competitive actions did to the software industry."

When the idea was mooted a year ago, joint-lead of the Samba project Jeremy Allison told us that a published specification was of no use at all:-

"There can't be a specification that's worth anything," he told us.

"The source code itself is the specification . The level of detail required to interoperate successfully is simply not documentable - it would produce a stack of paper so high you might as well publish the source code." ®

Related Story

Why Microsoft's EU 'concession' is no concession at all

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.